From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented that last Friday’s fatal air crash has worsened Nigeria’s problems especially at a time the country is battling security challenges.
The President made the remark on Monday when he received a delegation from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the presidential villa, Abuja, to condole with him on the air crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military officers.
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, with his colleagues the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, and Governor Sani Bello of Niger State.
‘This is a situation that only God knows when it will happen and it happened at a time when the security situation in the country is a fundamental issue,’ the President said.
‘And to loose choice officers has increased our problem but we know what we are in for and we will continue to work hard and pray hard so that God will give us the power to appreciate and apply ourselves to the problem.
‘The people who elected us, they know the promises we made within the time…the circumstances which we find ourselves…we will keep on trying and continue to do our best.’
In his remarks earlier, Governor Fayemi commiserated with the administration over the death of the military officers, affirming that the incident was deeply felt by the President.
He recalled that the President heeded their requested for the change of Service Chiefs, noting that the impact of the action was already being felt.
While affirming that the death of the officers was a big blow, Governor Fayemi said the war against insecurity must be won.
‘We’ve read your statement and this delegation of governors consider it a duty and as part of our obligation as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of your galant officers,’ the Ekiti Governor said.
‘We know it is an event that has touched you. When we mentioned the necessity for a change of service chiefs, you were determined to get the best set of people, you gave your assurance and the military was beginning to feel the impact.
‘We know that this is a major blow and you re unrelenting in your quest/commitment to ensure a peace and security in our country.
‘It’s unfortunate the losses we have suffered. We only pray God gives both the families and the country the fortitude to bear the loss, pray that God gives our country greater resolve to continue on the path that the late COAS towed.
‘For us we must defeat banditry, insurgency and criminality. That’s the mandate you gave them. This should not lead to any retreat or surrender on our part.
‘As you have promised, we know that our country will do everything to ensure that the administration will do all to take care of the families of the departed officers. It’s an indication of how protected the active officers would be,’ Governor Fayemi said.